Author: Rodrigo "Ruy" López de Segura (c1530-c1580)
Publisher: Presso Cornelio Arriuabene
Place: Venetia (Venice)
[vi]+214+[i] pages with chessboard illustration, 6 chess pieces as text vignettes and many decorated woodcut initials. Octavo (8 1/4" x 5 1/2") bound in later vellum with brown label to spine in gilt lettering. Translated from the Spanish by G. Domenicus Tarsia. (Schmid p. 236 ff. L/N 372. van der Linde I, 348) First Italian edition, first state with gomito, Gobito and Gombito on lines 1, 3 and 6 on page 133 whereas the later variant has consistent spelling gomito (elbow).
First Italian edition of the original Spanish edition by G. Domenicus Tarsia, extremely rare. This Italian translation is a somewhat free adaptation, which was enhanced with woodcuts. Selenus edited the main content of his chess work from the printed Italian translation. His textbook contains the rules of the game, strategies and openings. He preferred the Bishop game, especially "the Gambit des Lopez" and the King's Gambit. Lopez is considered the "father of chess theory" since he was the first to explain his moves. An important and detailed assessment can be found at Schmid on pages 231 to 240. Adriano Chicco, together with Giorgio Porreca, gives advice on the various prints of the Italian first edition.
Ruy López de Segura was a Spanish chess player, author, and Catholic priest whose 1561 treatise Libro de la invención liberal y Arte del juego del Axedrez was one of the first books about modern chess in Europe. He made great contributions to chess opening theory. In 1559, while living in Zafra, López was called to Rome by Pope Pius IV on ecclesiastical business. During his stay in Rome, López played chess with the locals. He apparently acquitted himself well, although the only account of these games is given in a single sentence by López himself. One of those players was Il Puttino, an epithet for a young Leonardo di Bona. López also learned the term gambit from the Italian players. In Italy López encountered Pedro Damiano's treatise on chess, Questo libro e da imparare giocare a scachi et de li partiti, and did not find much value in it. This may have inspired López to write his own book, Libro de la Invencion liberal y Arte del juego del Axedrez, which was published in 1561.
Boards slightly bowed, some light foxing else very good.